I thought Bar Tartine's new sandwich counter should get its own thread since it has a separate menu from dinner (under chef Nick Balla) but also because when I checked it out it got super busy in the middle of lunch, so there must be a lot of people out there who've tried it.
The counter is part of the expansion and redesign of the restaurant, and it's open Wednesday through Sunday. I went on Sunday before noon and while there were people already there, it wasn't super crowded. The menu has a section of open-faced sandwiches called smorrebrod and then a few regular sandwiches and salads, as well as selection of pastries and sweets.
I tried the three smorrebrod for $15 and got the sturgeon with potato spread, the roasted tomato with zucchini and the chocolate with hazelnut. I felt the presentation and complexity of ingredients reflected the Nordic trending of the food Balla is leaning toward for the dinner menu. They all came out looking beautiful but I wasn't that impressed by the sturgeon, just lacking much taste. The roasted tomatoes were done nicely and was like summer on bread, and the chocolate and hazelnut was just a great for obvious reasons. The added walnut bits on top was really nice.
The vibe was really relaxed and casual, and it seemed the menu was different enough to provide a nice alternative to brunch or a regular sandwich deli counter. Even though I wasn't blown away from the sturgeon, I'm still interested in trying the other items.
As I left there was a longer line at the counter. Luckily the entire restaurant space is utilized, including the marble bar counter.
Anyone else tried?